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Marzocchi’s simple open-bath forks have been the go-to, ultra-reliable budget suspension choice for ages and the Marathon R carries on the top value tradition.

Post-mount brakes and bolted hose guides keep setup easy and neat while bulged lower legs keep stiffness good, even in the quick-release-only format. We mainly tested the fork in the 100mm setting, but a relatively simple internal spacer switch extends travel to 120mm.

Chromed legs and metal effect top caps hide the budget price aesthetically and once bedded in the suspension is far better than anything else we’ve tested at a similar price. It gets a bit squelchy and stutters if you slap it down long sets of steps or slam it down hard but there’s no harsh spiking.

Rebound stays reliable most of the time, too. Unlike most £200 forks that seize before they get into double figure riding hours, slotted bushings and plenty of oil sloshing around means the Marathon is always ready to go. It comes with a three-year warranty.

article was originally published in What
Mountain Bike
magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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